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Speakers for 2023
Meetings at Dulverton Town Hall
10.00am for 10.30am start

31st May - Philip Bratby - Renewable Energy - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
We all know that the UK’s electricity supply is increasingly dependent on different types of renewable energy. But what exactly is renewable energy and what are its pros and cons?  Philip Bratby spent his career in the nuclear industry as a physicist, after which he became an independent energy consultant. He was appointed both the energy spokesman and a trustee for the Devon branch of the Campaign to Save Rural England.

28th June - Stephen Powles - In Pursuit of the Improbable - Wildlife Photography
This talk is a medley of wildlife stories with focussed descriptions of ‘pursuits of the improbable’. Successes are achieved through an understanding of natural history and the subject’s behaviour. Kingfishers, herons, otters, lizards, hedgehogs and more!  Formerly a vet, Stephen Powles changed career to pursue a lifelong passion for wildlife photography, filming and conservation. His material has appeared on TV, featured in the national press and won major awards. His work concentrates on challenging subjects, many at or close to his home. Much of Stephen’s time is now spent sharing with others the informative, fascinating and amusing stories he has managed to observe and photograph.

26th July - Robert Burns - Bob the Baker - The Story so far
And quite a story! Robert Burns found himself involved in the baking industry at the age of twelve and now owns one of the most successful family bakery businesses in Somerset.  Today ‘Burns the Bread’ is run by Robert’s eldest daughter and her twin sons. There are six shops in mid Somerset and the business employs sixty people. Now semi-retired, Bob gives a lot of his time to running his bakery school.

30th August - Peter Stoddart - Blenheim Palace and the First Churchills
The Threshold of Empire  John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough from relatively humble beginnings through an illustrious army career including victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.  The creation of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and the founding of a dynasty which has become a household name familiar to all in the UK and around the world.

27th September - Roger Browne - New Orleans to New York:  The Great American Songbook
Roger Browne is a jazz pianist and raconteur who has performed with stars including Grappeli, Montgomery, Littleton, Melly, Chisolm and many others. He has acted, sung and directed in many large scale musicals.  Roger’s talk is centred on how jazz influences musical theatre and vice versa. He explains the two genres with their different roots but both producing music which has remained popular for 100 years. We will hear tunes with origins from the cotton fields, railroads and churches of the south, plus music hall, minstrel shows and operettas from Broadway.

25th October - Sir David Calvert Smith - A Life of Crime! - Bar and Bench
With his wealth of experience, rooted in the legal profession, Sir David Culvert-Smith will share some reflections from his distinguished career.
He was called to the bar in 1969, aged 53, after-which his career advanced rapidly. He was assistant crown court recorder, served on the JuniorTreasury Council at The Old Bailey, then on the Senior Council. He was appointed a QC  in 1997 and was Director of Public Prosecutions from1998 to 2003. He became a High Court Judge in 2005 and Chairman of the Parole Board in 2012 – 2016. Now retired, he still serves in a variety of advisory roles.

29th November - Peter Gill - Surviving The Great War - The Arts That Kept The Boys Going
Peter Gill is an established pianist, entertainer and musical historian. He has been invited back after his ‘Wit and Songs of Noel Coward’ was so enjoyed in June 2022.

27th December - No meeting

No speakers in January, August or December
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